Friday afternoon round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesLooking at recent headlines, I’m tempted to stop calling this a round-up and to start calling it “Today’s trip through the Looking-Glass.” How in the world did we get to this pass, where everything that once was safe and normal is now turned on its head?

And no, I don’t expect an answer. That was a rhetorical question.

Here’s the good stuff:


I don’t usually open my round-up posts with a video, but this one deserves place of pride. Trey Gowdy tries to remind his fellow lawmakers that Congress, not the White House, makes the laws in America. Republicans were excited. Democrats . . . not so much.

Although the video goes back to March, the latest news items about Obama’s overreach (his response to the border crisis he created, the Supreme Court decision slapping down his made-up NLRB “recess” appointments, and Boehner’s proposed lawsuit on behalf of the House) mean that this video is still timely:

And while you’re thinking about Obama’s executive overreach (“Constitution? We don’t need no stinkin’ constitution!”), please read Charles Krauthammar’s take on the subject.


If you’ve ever thought that the police in your community are getting too big for their britches and are acting like mini-military dictatorships, instead of like servants of the people, you might be on to something. In Massachusetts, when the ACLU made open record requests on SWAT teams, the teams refused. Their justification was that, although they contract with police departments, they’ve been incorporated and therefore are immune to open records demands.

It’s rather ironic, isn’t it, that this arrogance takes place in the home of the Boston Massacre. Maybe my DemProg friend who’s utterly paranoid about corporations (but adores big government) has a point: there’s nothing more toxic than the corporate government nexus . . . when government is in the driver’s seat.


As Glenn Reynold’s likes to say, quoting L’il Abner, “the country’s in the very best of hands.” That’s why New York’s Port Authority is so badly managed that a fishing boat smashed into a completely unguarded pier dangerously near La Guardia airport. The only good thing about the story is the reason behind the crash: The ship’s 60-something captain was enjoying a drunken 3-way sex tryst with an equally mature friend and a just-as-mature (age-wise) woman they’d picked up at a bar.


Megan McArdle is about as level-headed a writer as you’ll ever find. Sometimes she’s so logical, she reminds me of Data in Star Trek : The Next Generation. Even level-headed, studiously non-partisan people, though, can be upset about the news that Lois Lerner was aggressively rooting around for ways to target conservative organizations and Congressmen:

That’s not what the IRS is for. The IRS is not given power over nonprofit status in order to root out electoral corruption or the appearance of it. It is given power over nonprofit status in order to make sure that the Treasury gets all the revenue to which it’s entitled.

Tax power is incredibly wide-ranging. Left unchecked, it can be used to infringe basically on any other right.

Definitely read the whole thing.

And for a little more info about the IRS’s increasing lawlessness in every area, check this out.


A liberal friend of mine was surprised, when he watched Jon Stewart the other night, to learn that the IRS has been misbehaving. This came as a surprise to me.  I mean, even if you think it’s a great thing that the IRS engaged in a partisan witch-hunt to destroy conservative and pro-Israel organizations before the 2012 election, every taxpayer should probably be offended by the fact that the IRS has no problem losing its documents and then lying about it, even though it would cheerfully bankrupt or imprison you for losing yours and, worse, lying about it. But as I said, all of this came as a complete surprise to my liberal friend.

The Media Research Center gave me a bit of insight into my liberal friend’s unexpected incredulity: NY Times Runs Only 13 Stories on IRS In Last Six Months.  As far as my liberal friend was concerned, unless he was reading the NYT with incredible attention to every article, the whole IRS scandal never happened.

Ultimately, though, Jon Stewart managed to calm my friend. The only problem, he was assured, is that the government is inefficient about record-keeping. Yeah, right.


It seems appropriate here to point to the fact that the drive-by media will destroy the careers of any reporters who dare to wander off the DemProg reservation.

This also seems like a good place to mention the New Yorker’s savage attack on Ted Cruz. You know, the more they attack him, the more I like him.

Oh, and one other thing about the media: NBC owes George Zimmerman an apology and, in a just world, tens of millions of dollars for grossly and deliberately slandering him as a racist.


In a ground war against Iraqi troops, ISIS is a formidable force. But let’s not forget that the ISIS fighters’ power rests in their savagery, not their skill. Jonathon Mosely argues that the same strategy Col. John Warden (USAF, Ret.) created for the 100-hour victory in the 1991 Iraq War, or a variation thereof, would be equally successful against ISIS fighters.

Frankly, anything would be better than Obama’s 300 “advisers,” many of whom, I fear, may end up as Obama’s 300 “sitting ducks.”


One Marine who’s been on the front lines states in the strongest terms what we here have long known, but that the political class (GOP and DemProg) assiduously refuses to admit: We are in an existential war with jihadist Islam, just as was the case when Islam first sprang out of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century, as was the case when the Crusaders pushed it back, and as was the case when the Ottoman Empire pressed up against Europe’s gates.

This is a binary war — win or lose, those are the only outcomes. And unless we in the West quickly develop political will and fire in the belly, we’re going to be on the losing side. And of course it doesn’t help that the man in the White House, even though he’s probably not a Muslim Brotherhood Manchurian candidate, nevertheless acts just like a Muslim Brotherhood Manchurian candidate would act if he did in fact exist.


Did I speak slightingly of the GOP in the preceding paragraph? This marvelous iOwnTheWorld image goes a long way to explaining why.


You know what happens when you give a free pass to idiots with bad ideas? They don’t slink away, satisfied with what they got. Instead, they come up with more bad ideas.

Flush with success regarding the legal protection the U.S. Patent Office snatched from the 80+ year-old Redskins’ name, some dope got column space in the Washington Post to demand that the military stop using Indian-themed (oh, pardon “Native American-themed) names for weapons systems names such as “Tomahawk missile” or for military actions by names such as “Operation Geronimo.”

If the military were using those terms to denigrate Native Americans, I’d agree. To the extent, however, that the terms quite obviously honor the warrior spirit of people who prided themselves on their warrior spirit, it’s a cultural honor, not an insult. But to an idiot, everything’s an insult.


I should have been writing about this story myself, since it’s taking place in my own backyard, but I tend to be somewhat inured to the antisemitic behavior that’s been an integral part of San Francisco State University since the 1970s. The latest chapter is SFSU’s insistence that it’s perfectly appropriate to use taxpayer money to send professors to hobnob with Muslim terrorists. This is precisely what you’d expect, of course, when the Left takes over an institution.


One of the gifts self-styled “intellectuals” have is their ability to tell their own lies so compellingly that they believe these lies themselves. To the extent that Obama and his cohorts are all impressed by their brain wattage, this problem has been magnified in their administration, and a lousy, cowed Congress hasn’t helped. David Hogberg therefore suggests that the intelligentsia’s ability to believe its own lies was a significant part of the deadly VA debacle.


Caroline Glick says that Israel is partially responsible for Naftali Fraenkel’s, Eyal Yifrah’s, and Gilad Shaer’s kidnapping, but not in the way you think. Unlike the Europeans and others, she doesn’t argue that it’s because Israel has the temerity to want to hold on to land to which she has historic, legal, and military rights. Instead, it’s because, back in 1985, she released over a 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, rather than go to war to rescue three IDF soldiers:

The only way to prevent more Israelis from being abducted in the future is to deter the Palestinians from abducting them.

Deterrence cannot be achieved by cheap political pronouncements or insufficient legislation.

Deterrence can only be built up over time, by behaving consistently in a manner that convinces the other side that it is not in its interest to do something that you don’t want it to do.

Since May 1985, when then-prime minister Shimon Peres freed 1,150 terrorists for three IDF soldiers held hostage by Palestinian terror master Ahmed Jibril, Israel’s behavior has consistently encouraged our enemies to take hostages.

Through their willingness to release murderers for hostages – and even for hostage bodies – our leaders have told our enemies that they should feel free to steal our children. Their payoff is guaranteed.

Glick is right. Every Israeli is precious. None is cannon fodder. Leaving even one in the hands of monsters is an appalling decision for Israel to have to make. Yet by refusing to make that terrible decision, Israel has invited the terrorists to kidnap ever more of her children and also freed them to engage in mass murder against her people.  I appreciate that this is an easy thing to say from the comfort of Marin County, with my two children safely accounted for.  Nevertheless, when it comes to governance, hard choices are called “hard” for a reason and countries at war need to make them all the time.


If Lenar Whitney, who’s currently running for the House in Louisiana’s 6th District, was running for Congress in Marin, I’d vote for her in a heartbeat, based solely on this video calling out anthropogenic climate change for the hoax it is:


Read for a laugh? I thought you might be, so I have a wonderful series of whiteboard posts by a manager at Walmart who either has a great sense of humor or incredible tolerance for a wacky employee.



Luis Suarez

Voter ID in India

(This round-up was compiled with help from Earl Aagaard, Danny Lemieux, and Sadie.)

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  • Ymarsakar

    “How in the world did we get to this pass, where everything that once was safe and normal is now turned on its head?”

    Humans are wretched, weaklings, that drag any particularly bright individual back into the crab bucket. Everything really stems from that. Communism was the ENlightenment’s answer, to Change the World by changing human flaws into human utopia. It works the way you see.

    Equality is a myth. The cake is a lie. And socialism is about destroying society, not about justice or peace. There is no justice without liberty. No liberty, no peace. No justice, no peace. The tree of liberty must be watered by the Blood of Patriots and Tyrants.

    A quote from a master mind conspirator against Hitler is apt.

    Hitler is the archenemy not only of Germany but of the world. When, in few hours’ time, I go before God to account for what I have done and left undone, I know I will be able to justify what I did in the struggle against Hitler. God promised Abraham that He would not destroy Sodom if just ten righteous men could be found in the city, and so I hope that for our sake God will not destroy Germany. No one among us can complain about his death, for whoever joined our ranks put on the shirt of Nessus. A man’s moral worth is established only at the point where he is ready to give up his life in defense of his convictions.

    – Head of Operation Flash

    As for the Israelis, maybe if they stopped trading 1000 Palestinian rapists, murderers, and suicide bombers for 1 Israeli body, the damn Palis would go out of their way to kidnap Israelis and Americans? Maybe if Hussein stopped trading 5 Taliban commanders for one Berg defector, the Taliban wouldn’t devote as many resources to capturing Americans…

    But the political benefits of bringing back Israeli civilians, body in tact, trumps whatever effect this has on future victims, same for America.

    If they refuse to take my advice to publicly execute, in inventive ways, these 1000, or 5000, or 10,000 Palestinians, then they will Get What they Deserve. If the Israeli politicians aren’t willing to do it with their own hands, then the price will be paid by Israeli citizens and their friends, until the time of Armageddon, then everyone will pay. Reality has a consequence. The Romans had similar problems with uppity Palestinians or Judea beings back then in 1st century AD. Strangely enough, during Jesus Christ’s time, the Jews were able to avoid doing stupid things like making war against Caesar. People in Western Democracies are weak as hell. They can’t even lift one sword to behead one of their enemies. And they think having a big technological army is going to protect them…

    “It seems appropriate here to point to the fact that the drive-by media will destroy the careers of any reporters who dare to wander off the DemProg reservation.”

    Did Jim Jones let anyone off the reservation or on it, alive?

    “Megan McArdle is about as level-headed a writer as you’ll ever find.”

    The Obama voter? Logickal?

    “to start calling it “Today’s trip through the Looking-Glass.””

    Welcome to my world. The difficulty is even.

  • Ymarsakar

    The Leftist alliance full of “Americans” are allied with Islamic Jihad. If you want to kill the Jihadists, you first must secure your own HOUSE and secure your own Supply Lines.

  • Earl

    I have to wonder what’s with Bibi……after the Munich Massacre, the Mossad (or whoever) spent YEARS tracking down and executing every one of the murderers. And it was the worst-kept secret in the world. Those guys NEVER had a moment they weren’t looking over their shoulders until the last of them had their lights turned out.

    And now?

    The answer to kidnapping is to make it too dangerous a business….. Even if you pay off to get your guys back, every kidnapping requires kidnappers. And if being a kidnapper carries too high a price, it’s going to be hard to find kidnappers.

    Lest the call of 72 virgins brings out the volunteers, make it known that the weapons of execution will include pork fat, or something similar. Surely there is a think-tank in Israel that could come up with better suggestions than mine…..guys?


    Some things just don’t go better with Coke!

  • Kevin_B

    I don’t really have anything to say about the links Bookworm posted, or the comments of the others.

    I only have something I would like to say. Today hasn’t been a good day at all. Today, we had to put our dog to sleep. We had a 15-year old male English cocker spaniel named Arco. He was already old, blind and nearly deaf, and his condition was already declining. Despite him having a few good days earlier this week even, we knew he didn’t have that much time left. We knew it was coming, but it came unexpectedly fast when he suffered what turned out be a stroke, and we had to put him to sleep.

    We had this dog for less than a week short of 15 years, and it really isn’t that easy to loose a pet that has been there for a large part of your own life. I buried Arco in his favorite spot in our garden.

    • Bookworm

      I’m so sorry, Kevin_B. As an almost fanatic dog lover myself, I know exactly how painful it is to lose a beloved dog. What a long ago vet told me is that we accept the inevitable pain of losing a dog (or many dogs) in our life time, because the pleasure and love and friendship they give us is so great, it’s worth the pain of loss.

      After I lose dogs, I always vow not to get another one. And then I always get another one and always surprise myself by how much I love the new dog — just as much as the old one, only in a different way, as befits the new dog’s different personality.

      You have my condolences.

    • Earl

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Kevin_B. You’re in a tough place, and it will be a while before it gets better.

      I held our last dog as the vet injected her…..she trusted me completely, and both the vet and I wept as she dropped off to sleep and then stopped breathing. It still chokes me up when I think about it. We loved that dog so much – she chose us, and it was a GREAT relationship.

      We’ve not replaced her – several years of moving, and now planning long trips.

      But the ache is still there. Each of them becomes part of the family in their own way….and the joy of their presence outweighs the (eventual) pain of their loss.